The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always had a special relationship with the scouting program, and the Court of Honor on August 21st was a special day for many people. It was stated that earning ones eagle is the beginning of a road that often leads to serving a mission and getting sealed in the Temple, which are worthy goals for everyone.
After paying proper respect to the Flag of the United States of America, Dave Richmond and Noah Talbot both received their Tenderfoot awards – one of the first steps on the path to Eagle. We were then regaled by the scout master’s stories of hiking, camping, and mostly fishing while he handed out numerous awards and merit badges. Apparently on their last hike Noah caught 3 fish with a bare hook, even though Brother Olson didn’t think they were going to catch anything when he first saw “the puddle.” It was also very amusing to see the boys “properly” clean their catches.
The time was then given over to the Bishop to award Trent Seely, Dayton Talbot, and Spencer Applegarth their Eagles. He started by inviting anyone that had previously earned their Eagle to sit together in an “Eagles Nest.” He then reminded us that these awards are a team effort, and that behind each of these young men were dedicated mothers.
As each recipient came up they said a few words about their journey, and what they learned. Trent Seely said that working for his Eagle has helped him stay on the straight and narrow path; though his mom said that it should be called a “Harpy Eagle” because of how much she needed to nag him to get it done. Dayton Talbot said that he was displeased that he essentially had to earn his twice, but he knows the experience will help him later in life. His mother told how she was proud of him and for “choosing to go the extra mile.” Spencer Applegarth expressed that what he learned most was how to make friends, even with unlikely people. His mom expressed how proud she was that he finished, even though it seemed like sports got in the way for a while. She also made an interesting observation that it was a blessing that he received his Eagle and graduated seminary, because they enabled him to get the visa he need to serve where he was called on a mission.
The meeting was closed with some very moving words by Brother Olson, the Scout Master. He emphasized that earning an Eagle is a process that many people are involved in, and in which many lives are touched. He said that the fish are not always biting, but that is life – we just need to decide how we will react. He remembered a time when one of these new Eagles was just starting their scout journey, and some advice he gave that young man “get a smile – you can do this.” He finished with the thought that faith is essential; it says in the Oath a scout has a duty to God. Then he bore his testimony.